In April 2014 Tony Geeson, Chair of Breinton Parish Council, gave a presentation in the Village Hall to explain what the Neighbourhood Plan is and how it will develop, see: 140623 Presentation only a Neighbourhood Plan for Breinton NG
This plan was to be prepared for the whole parish, working with neighbours like Stretton Sugwas so that planning policy across a wider area was as consistent as possible.
Since May 2014 updates about the progress of the plan have been provided in the monthly TEAMTALK magazine distributed to all households in Breinton. Read them all here.
Breinton’s Neighbourhood Plan has been produced at no cost to local people. The Parish Council is very fortunate to have gained a Department for Communities and Local Government grant to meet the costs. The money comes from a national £9.5m programme of external support and funding established to help communities across the country create neighbourhood plans. Because we lack planning expertise in the parish, the money is being used to pay our planning consultants – Kirkwells – and for local consultation, publicity and producing maps etc.
The grant was awarded from the Supporting Communities in Neighbourhood Planning Programme led by Locality in association with RTPI / Planning Aid England, CDF and partners, available through the My Community Rights website. www.mycommunityrights.org.uk
Since the original grant there have been two further grants from the Department for Communities and Local Government in 2015 and 2016 to help us complete the Plan
Just as local authorities, such as Herefordshire, can produce development plans to promote, guide and control development of houses, businesses, open spaces and other uses of land, so too, by preparing a Neighbourhood Plan, can parish councils. Neighbourhood plans, when complete, form part of the statutory development plan for an area. They will be used to promote and guide what type of development goes where; and, importantly, will be used to help determine planning applications.
With the significant development pressures arising from the City, Breinton Parish Council think this is an important right to exercise, and in December 2013 the Parish Council applied to be designated a Neighbourhood Planning area. Since designation the Parish Council’s Steering Group have been preparing a Draft Neighbourhood Plan. When finalised, this plan will give local people more say in the future development of the Parish.
A Breinton Parish Plan was produced in 2005 and a Community Led Plan (post to be loaded) was completed in 2014. This process included a number of parish events and a parish questionnaire in 2013 (post to be loaded). There were different questions for adults (those aged 18 and above) and young people (6-17 years). 66% of the adults in the parish completed the questionnaire as did 62% of all young people. This was an exceptionally high response rate.
The Neighbourhood Plan procedure must include two six week periods of consultation on the Draft Plan.
After the first six week consultation period Breinton’s Neighbourhood Plan was revised and submitted to Herefordshire Council. They consulted on this second Submitted Draft for a further six weeks. In our case, this consultation suggested some amendments, to make our plan clearer and more robust. Therefore changes were made and the plan was resubmitted in January 2016. Further comments may be received and included. After this there will be an independent examination which will review all the comments received, and the examiner – a planning inspector – will produce a report. This could require more work, recommend amendments or approve the plan.
The whole process then culminates in a public referendum on whether the plan should be made part of the statutory development plan for Herefordshire. Every adult resident in Breinton will have a vote just like in a General Election. If the referendum vote is a YES, then Herefordshire “make” the Breinton Neighbourhood Plan part of the development plan for Herefordshire. The Breinton Neighbourhood Plan will then be used to help determine planning applications.
We hope to reach Referendum stage, resulting in a final Breinton Neighbourhood Plan, by mid 2016.
The Breinton Neighbourhood Plan must take account of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), March 2012. This means our Neighbourhood Plan must “plan positively to promote local development” and must “support the strategic development needs” set out in Herefordshire’s Core Strategy. Our Neighbourhood Plan has been prepared to be in “general conformity” with the strategic planning policies in the Herefordshire Local Plan Core Strategy. The Core Strategy was submitted to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government under Regulation 22 of The Town and County Planning (Local Planning) (England) Regulations 2012, on 23 September 2014 for independent examination, was approved, and was adopted by Herefordshire Council on 16th October 2015.